Juvenile Justice & Youth

Juvenile Justice & Youth

Effective juvenile justice systems keep communities safe from youth violence, provide rehabilitative services to youth who have been charged with a crime, and strengthen youth, families and communities.  The system includes juvenile placement and detention facilities, as well as alternative-to-detention and alternative-to-incarceration services, which enable youth to remain safely in their homes and communities. Effective youth service programs prepare young people to meet the challenges of adolescence and adulthood through structured, youth-centered activities that positively impact their development. New York’s youth service programs provide youth development and enrichment opportunities during the school day, after school, and during the summer.

CCC’s Work in Juvenile Justice & Youth Services

Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York is committed to ensuring justice-involved youth receive the age-appropriate services, education, and rehabilitation opportunities they need to become successful adults, as well as ensuring all teens, adolescents, and young adults have access to safe, quality youth services.

CCC advocates to:

Allow youth to remain with their families and communities whenever possible:

  • We advocate for community-based services that reduce recidivism and enable youth to remain at home with their families and in their communities.
  • We advocate for closing under-utilized placement facilities, particularly those far from where children live, and for government to reinvest cost-savings into alternatives to detention and incarceration.

Ensure youth in juvenile justice facilities are placed close to their homes and receive the services they need to become successful adults:

  • We advocated for the Close to Home Initiative, which will enable New York City youth, found to be juvenile delinquents by a Family Court Judge, to be placed close to their homes and communities, in a new system administered by New York City (rather than New York State).
  • We closely monitor the development and implementation of Close to Home to ensure New York City’s youth and their families receive the individualized supports and services they need to lead productive, successful lives.

Ensure every adolescent has access to high quality youth services:

  • We advocate for increased federal, state, and city support for after-school programs, including the Out-of-School Time (OST) and 21st Century programs.
  • We support increasing the number of children employed through the Summer Youth Employment Program (SEYP), so that greater numbers of youth can gain work experience and wages during the summer.
  • We advocate for resources for New York City’s 80 Beacon programs, which are school-based community centers serving children, youth and adults during afternoons, evenings, weekends, school holidays/vacations and the summer.
  • We champion programs and initiatives that further youth’s social, emotional cognitive, and physical development such as athletic programs, internships, tutoring, relationship violence prevention programs (such as Teen RAPP), the Fatherhood Initiative that engages young fathers in their children’s lives, and services for runaway and homeless youth.
  • We promote programs that integrate youth voice and opportunities for civic youth engagement.

Protect and help runaway and homeless youth:

  • We advocate to increase the number of beds in the youth shelter system for runaway and homeless youth so every New York City youth in need of a shelter bed is able to have one.
  • We support services that address the needs of runaway and homeless youth, such as health and mental health services, education, vocational training and specialized programming for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth, pregnant and parenting youth, and sexually exploited youth.

Current and recent issues:

  • We advocated to raise the age of criminal responsibility so youth ages 16 and 17 are treated as juveniles in the juvenile justice system, rather than as adults in the criminal justice system.
  • We fought for state funding for the Close to Home initiative to keep New York City youth in the juvenile justice system in facilities close to their families and support networks.
  • We are monitoring Raise the Age implementation to ensure New York counties have the resources they need to fully actualize the law.
  • We worked to save funding for one year for summer programs for 34,000+ middle school students and are advocating to baseline the funding in the budget.
  • We helped secure increased funding for the Summer Youth Employment Program.
  • We advocated for additional funding for Beacon Community Centers.

Quick Fact

  • 54,000+

    NYC youth applied but didn’t get summer youth employment jobs

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